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  • American Skippet
    American Skippet
  • General Josiah Harmar
    General Josiah Harmar
  • Appeal to the Great Spirit
    Appeal to the Great Spirit
  • Hong Punch Bowl
    Hong Punch Bowl
  • Barter for a Bride
    Barter for a Bride
  • Artist/MakerJohnson, Edmund
  • Date Made1800
  • Place MadeUSA: Massachusetts, Salem
  • MaterialsWood; Mahagony
  • Measurements1'5" h. x 9 1/2" w. x 1'd.
  • Funds Donated by The Honorable & Mrs. Phleger
  • RoomThe Benjamin Franklin State Dining Room
  • Accession #1966.0110

Pair of Federal Eagle-inlaid Knife Boxes

The cases have eagle engraved Sheffield mounts as well as an American eagle in a shield-shaped inlay inside the lids.  It is possible that, from the tender, rather canine, expression of the whimsical eagle, Johnson might have given the work to an apprentice rather than obtaining it from one of the inlay specialists.  The inlaymaker obviously knew little ornithology.  It is possible that he was copying the likeness of the golden eagle which has feathers to its toes.  The bald eagle has bare shanks.  If he were attempting to portray any part of the national emblem, he was not copying the shield from an authentic rendition.  However, the design is well balanced and shows a good sense of line.